A new international cruise terminal is being built at Mumbai at an approximate cost of Rs. 300 crores out of which Rs. 197 crores is the share of Mumbai Port and Rs. 103 crores by PPP operator who would be engaged for operation and management of cruise terminal. The proposed cruise terminal would cover total constructed area of 4.15 lakh sq ft. with a total operational area of 1.7 lakh sq ft. and would be ground plus three storey structure with iconic design on cruise concept. The draft at this terminal would be 10.5 metre. The work is in progress and the estimated date of completion is December, 2019.
It is proposed to construct another cruise terminal facility in the Ernakulum Wharf of Cochin Port for bigger ships. The project consists of construction of an international cruise terminal building of approximate area of 2253 sq mt at an estimated cost of Rs. 25.72 crores. The work is under progress and estimated date of completion is 2020.
The following important steps have been taken by the Government to develop Cruise Tourism in the country:
A Task Force was constituted in November, 2015 with Secretary (Tourism) as the Chairman and Secretary (Shipping) as the Co-chairman for coordinated efforts to create an enabling eco-system for the development of cruise tourism in India.
Foreign flag vessels carrying passengers have been allowed to call at Indian ports for a period of 10 years with effect from 6th February, 2009 without obtaining a licence from Director General of Shipping. This facility has been extended further for a period of 5 years i.e. upto 5th February, 2024.
Standardized Operating Procedures (SOPs) for cruise vessels have been revised and operationalised w.e.f. November, 2017 for uniform, predefined processes to be observed by all major ports.
E-visa facility has been extended to five sea ports namely Mumbai, Goa, Mangalore, Cochin and Chennai. Immigration counters have been set up at five major ports visited by cruise ships.
Cruise tourists arriving with e-visa have been exempted from the requirement of biometric enrolment for a period of three years i.e. till 31.12.2020 to facilitate expeditious immigration clearance.
The port charges have been reduced and all major ports now charge a uniform single rate of $0.35 per GRT for first 12 hrs of stay w.e.f 3rd November, 2017 and will remain in force for a period of three years.
The ports do not levy any priority/ousting/shifting charges for berthing the cruise vessel.
Walk-in berthing/preferential berthing to homeport cruise without any extra charge.
To address manpower, coordination and logistic issues for handling cruise vessels at ports, Port Level Committees have been formed under the respective Chairmen of the above mentioned Major Ports to facilitate seamless handling of cruise ships and passengers.
This information was given by the Minister of State for Shipping and Finance Shri Pon. Radhakrishnan in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha today.